Have you ever spent any time looking back at old NCAA Tournament brackets and seeing what teams made it to what level in the past? Ok, well maybe I am the only one, but I have done it and it always seems odd to me when certain teams make huge runs. In the late 70s, Jacksonville made the Final 4….once Penn made it around the same time….Navy was a great 8 team….as was Loyola Marymount. In recent years, you had Gonzaga before they were Gonzaga and Kent St. Well add to that list, George Mason.
For those of you who dont know much about George Mason, dont worry…you are not alone. But like that old girlfriend who is kind of creepy but always finds a way back into your life, George Mason and I have been intersecting over the years quite a bit. I studied for the Virginia bar exam at Mason and have a hooded sweatshirt that I often wear to prove it. Around that same period of time, maconvolfan and I went to the Patriot Center for an NIT game between Tennessee and George Mason (exciting I know) that was attended by approximately 14 people. And a weird….I mean REALLY weird girl I knew in DC talked about George Mason with an affection only shared by Ravi Moss and his mirror.
Also George Mason has become the center of right-wing politics in DC. Hoping to build a counter to what they saw as the liberal tendencies of Georgetown and its law school, rich Republicans have spent huge amounts of money in trying to build up the prestige of the school and make it a right-wing haven. I try not to hold that against my beloved Patriots, but the influence of that crusade, from the new buildings to the famous teachers to the Ann Coulter mascot is everywhere.
But who knew about George Mason basketball? Well you might have known that their best player Tony Skin (destined for a porn career) punched a guy in the privates, but besides that, you knew nothing. And now they are in the Elite 8. I legitimately think that if Washington had held on over UCONN, George MAson might have made the Final 4. Now they will get run out of the gym. But for an hour or two today, celebrate the Patriots. The Colonial conference has not seen this kind of love since the Admiral David Robinson was at Navy. The bracket did fall right (getting Tennessee as a #2 who would be upset) but they did beat a senior-laden Michigan St team and a team full of NBA players in UNC. Great effort and one that surely will make Sean Hannity proud.